12 Unsolved Murders in Illinois since 1974

While it is the job of police in Illinois to solve crimes committed in the state, not every crime ends with an explanation and a conviction. The Illinois State Police has a list of 24 unsolved murders since September 1974, in hopes that it may lead to new information, tips or leads from the public.

Here are the details surrounding 12 of those unsolved crimes from the Illinois State Police website. If anyone has information regarding these cases, specific contacts are listed for each unsolved crime. Emails can be sent to CRIMETIPS@isp.state.il.us or by contacting your local ISP District.

24. Atkinson


  • Where: Inside her Atkinson home
  • When: Sept. 9, 1974
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of Mary Ann Becker (15,000 reward)

On Sept. 9, 1974, between the hours of 5:45 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., Mary Ann Becker was discovered dead inside her home in Atkinson. The circumstances of Mary Ann Becker's death resulted in a homicide investigation involving multiple police agencies. The investigation into Mary Ann Becker's death is currently ongoing. Mary Ann was a 16-year-old high school student in Atkinson at the time her life was taken.

23. Normal


  • Where: 602 S. Fell St. Normal
  • When: Dec. 23, 1975
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of Carol Rofstad (1,000 reward)

Carol Rofstad, who was 21 when she was killed, lived in Normal while attending Illinois State University. She was found beaten unconscious about noon Dec.23, 1975, outside her sorority house at 602 S. Fell St. The suspected murder weapon, an 18-inch piece of railroad tie, was found nearby. Rofstad wasn't found until roughly 12 hours after the attack. She died Christmas Eve as a result of head injuries.

Two men, one of whom carried a club, were seen between 10 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. on Dec. 22, 1975. Both were white males and between the ages of 18 and 25.

At the time of the attack, most students had already left campus for the holiday break. Instead of returning to Elk Grove Village, though, Rofstad had stayed in the Twin Cities to work at a retail store. Money was found in her purse and there was no evidence of sexual assault. Two women, in the sorority house, neither saw nor heard anything unusual.

Anyone with information in this case can call the Normal Police Department at (309) 454-9526, or Crime Stoppers of McLean County at (309) 828-1111.

22. Massac County


  • Where: Near Macedonia Church Rd and US Highway 45 in Massac County
  • When: March 30, 1984
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of Lisa Ann Carnes

Carnes' body was found in a field in rural Massac County near Macedonia Church Road and U.S. Highway 45.

Anyone who has information that may be helpful in solving this crime is asked to contact ISP Sergeant Chad Brown at (618) 845-3740, extension 282.

21. I-88, 120 miles west of Chicago


  • Where: Near mile marker 28.5, off of I-88 approximately 120 miles west of Chicago
  • When: May 20, 1986
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of Kathleen A. Goebeler, aka Kathleen Johnson

On May 20, 1986, ISP District 01 responded to an area of abandoned railroad tracks located on the south side of I-88, milepost 28.5, wherein a citizen had discovered the decomposed skeletal remains of a white female now identified as Kathleen A. Goebeler. Kathleen's maiden name is Johnson. Her last known address was Mckees Rocks, Penn., which is a suburb of Pittsburgh. Kathleen was last seen between April 11th and 18th, 1986, in Mckees Rocks, Penn.

It is known that Goebeler would hitch-hike as a means of transportation. Goebeler was known to have worked in strip clubs in the Pittsburgh area, Atlantic City, N.J. area and possibly the northwest West Virginia area.

Geographic information regarding the area wherein the female was found: I-88 is an east/west tollway which connects the Quad Cities with Chicago, Illinois (very rural in nature). This location was approximately 120 miles west of Chicago. At the time of death, I-88 was still Illinois Route 5, a four-lane highway. The body was found approximately 45 feet south of the roadway across a barbed wire fence in a sparsely wooded area.

If you have any information please contact Special Agent Nate Macklin 815/632-4012 Ext. 229.

20. Jarvis Township, Collinsville


  • Where: Lebanon Road, 1/10th of a mile west of the Troy and O'Fallon Rd. in Jarvis Township, Collinsville
  • When: July 20, 1990
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of unidentified female

On July 20, 1990, at 1:25 p.m., an unidentified, white female body was found in a bean field approximately 40 feet north of Lebanon Road, 1/10th of a mile west of the Troy and O'Fallon Road in Jarvis Township, Collinsville. The victim's death resulted from multiple cutting and stab wounds to the neck and torso; her fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries were missing. Evidence of surgical removal could not be determined. No defensive wounds were found on the victim. The body appeared to have been placed at the site two to three days prior to discovery.

Anyone with any information regarding the identification of the unidentified victim is urged to contact Detective Leonard Suhre, Madison County Sheriff's Department at (618) 692-4433 or (618) 692-0871.

19. Lawrence County, Miss.


  • Where: I-44 in rural Lawrence County, Miss., between Springfield and Joplin, Miss.
  • When: Aug. 23, 1992
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of Tammy J. Zywicki

On Aug. 23, 1992, Tammy J. Zywicki departed Evanston for college in Grinnell, IA, where she was expected to arrive that evening. Later that day, Zywicki's car was found by an Illinois State Trooper and ticketed as being abandoned. On Aug. 24, 1992, the vehicle was towed by ISP. On that same evening, Zywicki's mother contacted the ISP and advised them that her daughter had not arrived at college. On Sept. 1, 1992, Zywicki's body was located along Interstate Highway 44 (I-44) in rural Lawrence County, Miss.,, which is located between Springfield and Joplin, Miss. She had been stabbed to death.

Zywicki was reportedly last seen with her car on I-80 at mile marker 83 in LaSalle County between 3:10 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Aug. 23, 1992. It was also reported that a tractor/trailer was seen near Zywicki's vehicle during this time period. The driver of the tractor/trailer is described as a white male between 35 and 40 years of age, over six feet tall, with dark, bushy hair. Some of the victim's personal property is known to be missing, including a Cannon 35mm camera and a musical wrist watch with an umbrella on its face and it played a tune.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact S/A Jorge Fonseca, ISP at (815) 726-6377 Ext 286.

18. Jefferson County


  • Where: Wayne Fitzgerald State Park in Jefferson County
  • When: Jan. 24, 1993
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of unidentified female

On Jan. 27, 1993, the head of a white female was found in a wooded area in the Wayne Fitzgerald State Park in Jefferson County. Postmortem examination revealed the victim had approximately shoulder length reddish-brown hair.

Analysis by the University of Illinois Anthropology Department indicated the victim's age ranged between 30 to 50 years. Unusual skeletal characteristics of the skull and upper front cervical vertebrae indicate the victim suffered from chronic spasmodic torticollis, or wryneck, a condition which causes stress on the muscles which are responsible for maintaining upright head posture. Evidence of a healed traumatic lesion on the skull suggests this condition may have been preceded by head trauma; this would have resulted in the victim maintaining a leftward tilt of the head.

Anyone with any information that would help identify this unidentified victim is urged to contact Jefferson County Sheriff's Department at (618) 242-2141 or ISP, M/Sgt Myron Pansing at (618) 542-1137.

17. Williamson County


  • Where: Crab Orchard Lake in Williamson County
  • When: June 29, 1993
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of Keith L. Brown

On Feb. 3, 1993, the wife of Keith L. Brown, 34, of Buckner, reported her husband was missing. Brown's blue 1989 Plymouth hatchback, (IL. Reg. KWA682) was located two days later in a remote area near Crab Orchard Lake in Williamson County. On June 29,1993, Brown's skeletal remains were found in a hay field near Crab Orchard Lake by a farmer. Brown had been shot several times.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Master Sergeant Stanton Diggs, ISP, at (618) 542-2171 ext.8090.

16. Elgin


  • Where: I-90 in Elgin
  • When: July 24, 1993
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of Carmen Charneco (5,000 reward)

Carmen Charneco was found murdered on July 24, 1993 on I-90 in Elgin. The ISP is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of Edwin Acevedo Rodriguez, a 42-year-old Hispanic male.

Rodriguez is a wanted fugitive who fled the Elgin area in July 1993 and is wanted for questioning in the death of Charneco. Rodriguez should be considered armed and dangerous. Rodriguez has a history of drugs and weapons and has been identified as a member of the street gang "Maniac Latin Disciples." Rodriguez has relatives in and has been sighted in Brooklyn, Bronx, New York, New York and the areas surrounding Aguada, Aguadilla Puerto Rico. He was also sighted in Hialeah, Florida. Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican male, approximately 5 feet, 3 - 5 inches tall, with black hair and brown eyes. When last seen, his weight was approximately 132-150 pounds, but this description is dated. Rodriguez has several tattoos including ones on his left and right thighs, right arm, forearm, and shoulder.

The attached photograph shows Rodriguez as he looked in 1993 (the last photo shows what he might look like today).


15. Decatur


  • Where: House for sale in Macon County
  • When: Aug. 5, 1994
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of Sherry Lewis (10,000 reward)

On Aug. 5, 1994, 30-year-old Sherry L. Lewis, a Decatur realtor, was found deceased in a Macon County residence that was for sale which she had an appointment to show. The family of Sherry Lewis is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the murder.

Anyone with information regarding the Lewis murder should contact the Macon County Sheriff's Office at (217) 424-1337.

14. Cook County


  • Where: Sanitary Shipping Canal, one mile east of Routes 83 and 171 in Cook County
  • When: Oct. 10, 1994
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of Jeffery W. Archer

The ISP, District Chicago Investigations is seeking assistance regarding the death of Jeffery W. Archer. He was last seen leaving his 1990 Plymouth Voyager, Illinois Registration TU5880 on Oct. 10, 1994, at approximately 5:00 p.m. in the area of 6900 South Wolf Road, Indian Head Park. His body was recovered on Oct. 16, 1994, from the Sanitary Shipping Canal, one mile east of Routes 83 and 171.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact ISP Zone 1 Investigations at (847) 608-3200 to provide any additional information.

13. Nokomis


  • Where: 527 South Maple, Nokomis in Montgomery County
  • When: Nov. 1, 1995
  • Case details: Homicide investigation of Shana M. Jaros

The ISP, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, and the Nokomis Police Department are seeking assistance regarding the homicide of Shana Marie Jaros, of Nokomis. Just before 7:00 a.m., on Nov. 1, 1995, Jaros' deceased body was discovered in her apartment of one week at 527 South Maple, Nokomis. A neighbor reported she heard a scuffle in Jaros's apartment at approximately 4:46 a.m. The neighbor did not observe anyone leaving the victim's apartment immediately thereafter. Jaros received more than 50 stab-cutting wounds from just above her breasts to her neck. Death resulted from massive blood loss.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Sergeant Mike Sheeley, ISP, District 18 Headquarters at 217/324-2515; or Analyst John Roman, ISP, Field Support Section at (888) 375-9611, or romanjo@isp.state.il.us.

Check out Reboot Illinois to see 12 more recent unsolved crimes, including deaths in 2010 and 2007. Remember to contact the Illinois State Police with any information about these unsolved crimes.

Sign up for our daily email to stay up to date with Illinois politics.